The Truth about Alternative 3
In our June issue, we told you about the controversial book
Alternative 3, by British author Leslie Watkins. In out attempt to
find out if the shocking theories in the book were true, we called
Avon Books, the American publisher; they said the book was out of
print in the states. We called Penguin Books in London and found that
it was listed on their NON-FICTION list. A senior editor there told
us that it was officially classified as FICTION BASED ON FACT. The
author's agent told us it was most definitely fiction. We wrote to
the author himself to try to get the real story, and here is the
letter he sent us.
Dear Ms. Dittrich:
Thank you for your letter, which reached me today. Naturally, I am
delighted by your interest in Alternative 3 and by the fact that you
plan to sell it in the Windwords bookstore. I will certainly
cooperate in any way I can.
The correct description of Alternative 3 was given to you by the
representative from Penguin Books. The book is based on fact, but
uses that fact as a launchpad for a HIGH DIVE INTO FICTION. In answer
to your specific questions:
1) There is no astronaut named Grodin.
2) There is no Sceptre Television and the reported Benson is also
3) There is no Dr. Gerstein.
4) Yes, a "documentary" was televised in June 1977 on Anglia
Television, which went out to the entire national network in
Britain. It was called Alternative 3 and was written by David
Ambrose and produced by Christopher Miles (whose names were on
the book for contractual reasons). This original TV version,
which I EXPANDED IMMENSELY for the book, was ACTUALLY A HOAX
which had been scheduled for transmission on April Fools' Day.
Because of certain problems in finding the right network slot,
the transmission was delayed.
The TV program did cause a tremendous uproar because viewers refused
to believe it was fiction. I initially took the view that the basic
premise was so way-out, particularly the way I aimed to present it in
the book, that no one would regard it as non-fiction. Immediately
after publication, I realized I was totally wrong. In fact, the
amazing mountains of letters from virtually all parts of the world-
including vast numbers from highly intelligent people in positions of
responsibility-convinced me that I had ACCIDENTALLY trespassed into a
range of top-secret truths.
Documentary evidence provided by many of these correspondents decided
me to write a serious and COMPLETELY NON-FICTION sequel.
Unfortunately, a chest containing the bulk of the letters was among
the items which were mysteriously LOST IN TRANSIT some four years when
I moved from London, England, to Sydney, Australia, before I moved on
to settle in New Zealand. For some time after Alternative 3 was
originally published, I have reason to suppose that my home telephone
was being tapped and my contacts who were experienced in such matters
were convinced that certain intelligence agencies considered that I
probably knew too much.
So, summing up, the book is FICTION BASED ON FACT. But I now feel
that I inadvertently got VERY CLOSE TO A SECRET TRUTH. I hope this is
of some help to you and I look forward to hearing from you again.
With best wishes,
Unfortunately, Alternative 3 is no longer available. We (Windwords)
bought all the remaining copies from the British publisher and those
quickly sold out. If the book is reprinted, you can be sure we'll let
you know and we'll carry it in the Windwords bookstore.